The photo above shows the launch Tuatahi alongside the wharf at Kingfisher Lodge, Whangaroa in 1954.

Anyone able to shed some light on her?

Photos below ex Brian Worthington

I’m out & about over Easter, if my dinghy is looking a little low in the water it is because I have found spotX, that the boys below had  🙂     (both photos ex Lew Redwood)


Mystery Wellington Launch



Mystery Wellington Launch

The caption on the ‘NZ Cars, Boats etc’ facebook page (via Lew Redwood) states the photo was dated 21 April 1959 & the venue is Wellington. The lady on the right is Miss Clarissa Christian & the launch is hers.

Can we ID the launch, what became of her & is Clarissa still with us?

Classic Woody  Riverhead Hotel Cruise

















Classic Woody  Riverhead Hotel Cruise

Not wanting to sound like a parrot but the CYA has an amazing track record of aceing the weather for its launch cruises to the waterfront Riverhead Hotel. 

The forecast was average, but it just never eventuated & subsequently the boats that made the trip had a great day.  

So cool to have one of our yachties make the trip, that center-board helped 😉

Highlight of the day for me was seeing John Wright’s recently restored launch – Nana. Nana was designed by C. Bailey Jun. &  built by C. Bailey & Sons in 1934. You can view more on Nana’s amazing journey, from rescue to re-launch at this link https://waitematawoodys.com/2017/02/01/nana-resuced-restored/ 

John has one of the best eyes for how a woody should look, the final details on Nana make her look perfect, in my eyes. John, you should have finished the trip & come up to the hotel, I have a WW tee-shirt for you – email me your postal address – waitematawoodys@gmail.com

 Also had a peek at the publican’s – Paula & Stephen Pepperell’s 1967 Jorgensen launch -Volantis, that is nearing the end of an extensive re-fit, Stephan is another woody with a great eye for detail.

Below are a collection of photos from the camera of Simon Smith who was perched on the Greenhithe Bridge – they give us another perspective on some of our classics. Pity Simon wasn’t there for the return trip – Raindance & the motor-sailer Korara, were just passing under the bridge, being good woodys, traveling to starboard of a large plastic yacht (a Hanse) that was approaching the bridge – when all of a sudden the yachts bow shot up out of the water & the yacht shot backwards. The reason – you guessed it – mast hit the bridge (photo of dent to the bridge, below) luckily they were travelling slow, any faster & they might have lost the mast. I suspect there was a change of undies needed for the crew.


Raindance & Nana











Upper Harbour ‘V’s’ Yacht Oops


HDML – Kuparu – P3563 Looking Rather Smart










Woody Nathan Herbert snapped the above photo of Susanne, recently will mooching around Havelock.

The B/W photo is from Brian Worthington’s site – NZ Classic Game Boats & states that she was built by the Lane Motor Boat Company.

Can we flush out more details on her past?

Harold Kidd Input – She was registered with Lloyds’ Yacht Register in 1964 when owned by E S Nichol of Bluff. Her builder was given as Lane Motor Boat Co in 1956 and designer as Frederick R Parker. Dimensions were 35’x33’6×11/2’8″ and power twin 125hp 6 cylinder petrol Chryslers.
Who was Parker?


Tuarangi > Silver Fin – Update

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I was recently sent the above photo of Silver Fin (Tuarangi) by Brian Wagstaff & Bryan was able to supply some background on her below –  from past WW stories we know that Tuarangi was built by Lidgard Bros for a H.S White & launched in 1950. White sold her in 1951 to Bruce Winstone. She was 42’x40’x12’x4’3″ and originally had twin 90hp 6-cylinder Redwing petrol engines. During Whites ownership, she blew up while refueling at Whitianga. You can read the story in detail here   https://waitematawoodys.com/2015/06/13/wairangi-2/

Eric details the post incident recovery, sale & rebuild below. By 1959 she was renamed Silver Fin. I’ll let Eric tell the story.

“My father Eric Wagstaff purchased the boat from the Bruce Winstone. I would assume some insurance company might have been involved . The boat was collected from Whitianga and towed to Tauranga by a boat called “Rainbow” which was old bridge decker owned by Eric. The Rainbow had a marinised Rolls Royce engine and was built for the Mills Bros who I believe were Bay of Plenty farmers. The roof section from Silver Fin was basically upside down and pretty much in place on collection. The boat was beached at Beach Road, Otumoetai.

The boat was lifted onto a transport trailer by Bert Godfrey, the founder of the NZ Lumber Company and moved to Eric’s joinery factory in Judea.  We enjoyed many a trip on the Silver Fin. She was chartered for game fishing for a while in the days of Bob Gray etc. The top was replaced with what you see and Eric consulted with Willy Oliver, who was a friend, on the design of the new cabin. Eric was born in Wellington to a well-known yachting and boat building family and had it not been for the 2nd World War (he was a fighter pilot) and returned to Maunganui at the end of the war were he meet my mother (now 96 and still alive) in Tauranga where he stayed and established a joinery business. The motors were replaced with 60hp Fordson diesels converted by Lees marine, I believe. The boat was sold to Dr. Kennedy the family doctor (who delivered me in 1949). He for some reason painted the boat green which I remember clearly. The rest of it you pretty much have on record. I will try to find some old photos of the rebuild.”




Yachts at Kawau Island – Sailing Sunday – Win A WW T-Shirt


Yachts at Kawau Island – Sailing Sunday – Win A WW T-Shirt

This Mansion House Bay, Kawau Island photo from the ‘NZ Car, Boats, >>> Utes Pre’75’ FB page shows a great collection of classic yachts (& a few launches).

I’ll put up a WW t-shirt to the woody that can ID the most yachts – given my launch angle – I’ll get a yachty to verify the answers. To stop copy-catting, entries ONLY via email to




The 97th Lipton Cup race is set to take place on the 17th of March. 22 miles of blood, sweat and tears is to be raced by the 22ft L Class ‘mullet boats’ to see who will triumph as the winner of the esteemed Lipton Cup trophy. This is a highlight of the yachting calendar and this year it appears there will be fierce competition with a number of the mullet boats performing exceptionally well in recent racing. With only 3 years to go until the 100th you can expect there to be a lot more competition and boats coming out of the wood work to compete in following years. Previous crew and owners are always welcome to come down and watch with the club open all day with food and refreshments (with a lift for the weathered yachties).

The days events are as follows:

7am – Hot cooked breakfast (Prebooked)

9am – Race briefing

11am – Race commences

3pm approx – Race finishes

6pm approx – Prize giving and after party

Watch Video footage from last years race here https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=3&v=LAZotynoqiA


An Update on the Lady Ellen Restoration



An Update on Lady Ellen’ Restoration

I have just received an update from Bruce Mitchinson that details the amazing work being undertaken on Lady Ellen – My comment to Bruce was the she was a very lucky lady – not many launches get this amount to TLC – I’ll let Bruce tell you about the work. Photos below:

“Bilge cleanup done and engine beds re-built to remove rotten sections. New laminated floor at the back to help spread the load of the engine and gearbox, where there was very little support previously. Damaged frame ends removed and new laminated sections spliced in, to run continuous across the keelson. Foredeck re-fastened and fibreglassed to make watertight and to take out the springiness. Bulkhead linings all stripped and new plywood lining has been pre-primed and undercoated ready for installation next week. Rod steering system has been modified, using all the existing components, so that all the workings now sit below the floor, and the wheel lowered to suit the new steering position. New fuel tank beds are being fitted to support the new tanks. Only another 250 copper nails and rooves to replace and we can start painting the inside of the hull.”

You can see & read details on the past work here https://waitematawoodys.com/2017/07/14/lady-ellen-restoration/